Who is A Legend in the Contemporary Nigerian Music Industry ?

The English dictionary defines a Legend as someone that has an extraordinary accomplishment. Webster dictionary of English defines the terminology “legend “as a person or thing that is very famous for having special qualities or abilities.

Sunny Ade

Music pundits, listeners and lovers have over the years expressed divergent opinions as to the validity and appropriateness of the terminology “Legend” being indiscriminately conferred on some recording artistes (not musicians) in the Nigerian music industry with many claiming most of the recipients do not deserve and are not befitting of such title/appellation in cognizance of corresponding exploits, years and rate of success in the music industry.

The rate at which every tom, dick and harry is being labelled a Legend is alarming and can only be considered a mere puff.

It should be noted that while some of these artistes tagged legends are well deserving, the comparison of some artistes to the real legends constitutes nothing but an act of disrespect and not giving proper recognition and honour to whom it is due. The holy book of the Christians says “Give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar”.

This appellation “Legend” given to some of the not so deserving artistes is what pushes some of them to misbehave even to their superiors or even rest on their oars and reduce their efforts because they feel that they have finally arrived. The only Legend most of these type of artistes deserve is Legend extra stout.

IN MY OPINION, taking into consideration the practicability of the subject matter and looking at the issue from a realist perspective armed with the knowledge of the custom usage of the word “Legend “and conferment in the past, it is pertinent to note that certain factors are to be put into consideration when considering giving someone the title “Legend” vis a vis the Nigerian Music industry.

One has to take into consideration the Period of “Active “years of the so called artist in the music industry, the impact of their songs in the society, number of Mega Hits, Number of Hit Features, endorsements over a certain period of time, Brand and content acceptance, versatility and then amount and quality of successful artists that such individual has groomed amongst others. 

The Likes of Sunny Ade, Sunny Okposu, Ebenezer Obey,Fela anikulapo kuti, Ik dairo ,Onyenka Onwenu ,Zaaki ,Orlando owoh and others tick the boxes in most of the above listed requirements. 

As far as the contemporary Nigerian music industry is concerned, personally, I would mention only 2face, Dbanj, Psquare ,Davido , Olamide (yes) and Wizkid as Legends in the Industry.The rest are towing the path to achieve this great status and in few years’ time and with consistency, most of the remaining A list Nigerian artists will be considered Legends for their contribution to the music industry.


Legends should never be mistaken for pioneers. Because one is the pioneer of a genre of music at a particular time or the forerunner at a particular time, doesn’t automatically make one a legend. Ask Mr Eazi, self-acclaimed creator of Banku music if you think I am lying.

In the 21st century Nigerian Music Industry, who do you think qualifies to be labelled a Legend??


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